Travel briefs

 

Airlines

United changes POINTS program

Travelers who fly the most and pay the most will soon earn more miles on United Airlines’ frequent-flier program.

The change will help elite members of United’s loyalty program — those who fly at least 25,000 miles a year on the airline. It will be far less-rewarding for people who currently rack up miles by taking occasional long flights at bargain fares.

Starting March 1, elite-level members of MileagePlus will earn between 7 and 11 miles for every dollar they spend on tickets, not counting taxes. Regular members — people who fly less than 25,000 miles and spend less than $2,500 a year on United — will get 5 miles per dollar toward free travel.

United joins Delta, Southwest and JetBlue in basing awards on money spent, not miles flown.

Egypt

Government levies $25 tourist tax

An Egyptian airport official says authorities have levied a new $25 airport tax on tourists leaving the country, a move that has been criticized as being a further deterrent for vacationers considering the country as a holiday destination.

Egypt’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the three years of turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

From a high of more than 14 million tourists in 2010, only around 9.6 million came to Egypt in 2011. According to the Tourism Ministry, 9.5 million tourists visited Egypt in 2013.

Airport security

TSA screening goes ‘risk-based’

The Transportation Security Administration has been moving away from a system that assumes all passengers, including children and the elderly, pose the same security risk.

For example, the TSA now operates PreCheck lines at 115 airports that let passengers who pass a background check zip through without removing coats, belts or shoes or removing laptop computers from carrying cases.

Now the TSA plans to adopt its “risk-based security” to the screening of luggage. Under the current system, every bag gets the same level of screening.

As part of a TSA plan to spend $2.2 billion over the next five years, the agency said, it wants to adopt a system that can identify the risk level of each bag, based on information about its owners. In other words, the luggage of high-risk passengers would get a more thorough screening than other bags.

“TSA uses an intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to transportation security,” said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein. “An integral part of that strategy is using advanced technology in passenger and baggage screening.”

Airports

Atlanta airport launches free Wi-Fi

Travelers, after years of complaints, will have access to a free wireless Internet network at the world’s busiest airport. Officials say the network at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport cost more than $5.2 million to install and is expected to accommodate up to 15,000 simultaneous users.

The airport’s lack of a free Wi-Fi network was the No. 1 customer complaint.

Miami Herald

wire services

Read more Just In! | Travel News stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
A woman passes by a departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport that shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv was canceled on Tuesday.

    Airlines scrap Israel flights over missile fear

    In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Une Bobine Cell Phone Stand Sync and Charging Cable</span>

    Gear + Gadgets

    Coiled to charge

    Having declared a moratorium on testing cellphone accessories, we made an exception for the new Une Bobine Stand, Sync and Charging Cable from FuseChicken. This 24-inch long, 1/4-inch-thick flexible metal coil has a USB plug at one end and a sturdy minimalistic cell phone dock at the other (available in models for iPhone 4/4S, 5//5S/5C, and Android phones with micro-USB ports). Coil the metal as tightly or loosely, high or low-standing as you like (depending on what seems most stable for your phone). Plug the USB end into your computer or a USB wall charger. Then slide your phone’s power port onto the Une Bobine’s Lightning — or 30-pin or micro USB — adaptor, which has a slim plastic vertical backboard to keep the phone stable. The gap between the charging unit and the backboard is just wide enough to accommodate most cellphone cases — a rarity with many docks. The device keeps steady, so you can use it as a tripod, either coiled solo or wrapped around a tree branch or other object.

  •  
Fort de Bregancon

    France: Presidents’ holiday retreat open to public

    Presidential retreat

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK



  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category